The Falcons were represented by scouts at Monday's National Championship between Oregon and Ohio State. There was a lottery for credentials to the game, and only seven teams were selected to receive credentials. Other teams in attendance were the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers.
There was quite a bit of NFL talent on the field last night. Several of those teams likely kept a close eye on Oregon quarterback and Heisman winner Marcus Mariota, and Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones, who started the season as the third guy on the depth chart and is facing a situation where both Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett could return next season, is a prospect who may choose to declare for the draft while his stock is soaring.
As far as players who might fill the Falcons' needs, Oregon's Arik Armstead is a 6'8", 290 pound monster of a defensive lineman who played both tackle and end at Oregon and was able to generate quite a bit of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Tony Washington is a versatile, if slightly raw, pass-rushing linebacker.
From Ohio State, Michael Bennett has generated a lot of pressure and gotten into the backfield with regularity from the interior line. Heaven knows the Falcons have all the DTs they could possibly want or need, but Bennett's skill set is such that he could be developed into a pass rush specialist. Tight end Jeff Heuerman is a pretty reliable receiver, with 17 catches for 202 yards this season, and he's incredibly strong and a good blocker. Wide receiver Devin Smith is a big-play threat and would be a nice addition to Atlanta's roster. Smith averaged 27.2 yards per reception this season, and Smith had 931 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Buckeyes in 2014 on just 33 receptions. He's also very durable, playing in 53 straight games for the Buckeyes.
Before you ask, Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott and Joey Bosa are not yet draft-eligible.
Did any prospects from Oregon or Ohio State catch your eye last night?